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Stars come out in tribute to 'Scholli'

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Stars come out in tribute to 'Scholli'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:54 am


When Germany's most successful club meet Barcelona to contest the inaugural Franz Beckenbauer Cup at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening, the result is likely to be of secondary importance for once. Strong emotions will instead take centre-stage, as the match is Mehmet Scholl's testimonial, and also features the official farewell to Roy Makaay.

"Mehmet Scholl is a legend. The Barcelona match will be his last major highlight. He's earned it. He'll always have a place in the fans' hearts,“ commented coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, reflecting on Scholl's 15-season career at the club. "I definitely wouldn't have allowed just any old player to have his farewell event at the match for the Franz Beckenbauer Cup," Franz Beckenbauer himself remarked.

<b>Barca as warm-up for Bremen</b>

Barcelona and their four megastars - Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o – undoubtedly provide worthy final opponents for Scholl. "Just looking at the names involved, it’ll definitely be a very attractive event at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday,“ Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge exclusively told <b></b>.

Barcelona, imperious 4-0 home victors over Bayern at the same pre-season stage last term in the Juan-Gamper Cup, are seeking a test of their form ahead of the start of the Spanish season on 26 August. Hitzfeld regards the clash with the 2006 Champions League winners as a "half-way halt" in the run-up to Saturday's Bundesliga showdown away to Bremen.

<b>Hitzfeld to rotate</b>

"It'll be another chance for some of our bench players. They need match practice after all. But everyone who turned out on Saturday will also feature against Barcelona,“ Hitzfeld explained, "it assuredly won't be the kind of team we fielded in Gladbach, Köln or Mallorca.“ The Reds sent out numerous reserves and youths in those friendlies.

Hitzfeld is certain to be intrigued as to how his men will fare against the star-studded visitors. "It'll be good to see how we measure up against one of the best teams in Europe,“ agreed Mark van Bommel, a Barca player until his switch to Bavaria in summer 2006. "We want to be where Barcelona were when they won the Champions League a year ago,“ Van Bommel continued. "Obviously we don't want to lose, but we mustn't forget we have to go to Bremen at the weekend.“

<b>Scholl to start</b>

By contrast, Scholl will be totally focused on Wednesday's game. The player has been preparing for his final outing since Sunday by training with the first team at the Säbener Straße. "He'll play for as long as he can manage, but I'm not going to guess at how long that will be," Hitzfeld commented. "He'll play for as long as his legs can carry him.“
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